Have you been struggling to hear, or do you feel like your hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was? Perhaps a loved one is having trouble understanding you or is withdrawing from social situations. If you’re concerned about hearing health, identifying the signs of hearing loss in you or a loved one is an important step to seeking treatment.
Losing High Frequency Sounds
With hearing loss, the first sounds that you may miss are high frequency or high-pitched sounds. This can be the voices of your grandchildren, the birds chirping outside your window, or the stove or alarm clock. Music might start to sound strange, as you’re not able to hear all the notes or all the overtones and undertones that give music its rich, full sound. Hearing loss also causes difficulties with conversations, as hearing certain consonant sounds becomes more and more difficult.
Turning Up the Volume
Has your family been complaining about the high volume on the TV? Have you been slowly turning up the volume to try to hear your favorite shows? If you’re habitually watching TV or listening to the radio with the volume several degrees higher than you used to, this is a clear sign of hearing loss, and should be taken seriously.
Ignoring the Phone
Do you still answer the phone when it rings? Have you given up on understanding anyone over the phone, even if it’s one of your kids? If you’ve been having difficulty following conversations in person, talking on the phone is even worse. It may sound like the connection is weak, or the other person is mumbling, and you can’t understand anything that’s said. However, this could signal a hearing loss, rather than a problem with your mobile devices.
Struggling with Conversation
If you have hearing loss, one of the first things you’ll notice is that conversations become extremely difficult to follow. When you’re talking one on one with someone, and the room is quiet, it may be easier to understand almost everything the person is saying. But in places with background noise, or in a group conversation, you may find it difficult to keep up and often find yourself lost or confused.
You may find yourself asking people to repeat themselves often, and you may wonder why everyone appears to be mumbling or speaking too softly. You often ask people to speak louder, or more slowly, but even that doesn’t always help. While it may be convenient to blame others when you can’t understand what’s been said, it’s time to consider that the problem might be within your own ears.
With communication difficulties, you may find yourself choosing to stay home rather than joining your friends for dinner. If you’ve been withdrawing from social situations, this could be an indicator of hearing loss. Social situations may be stressful with untreated hearing loss. You may be afraid that you cannot follow conversations and are worried you might embarrass yourself by mishearing a question and answering inappropriately. Choosing to stay home might seem like the best option at the time, but social isolation could lead to bigger issues in your overall health and well-being.
Have you noticed a buzzing, ringing, or whistling in your ears? This condition is known as tinnitus and is often an early warning sign of hearing loss. Tinnitus can be temporary, but it also has the potential to be a chronic condition. Tinnitus and hearing loss are closely linked, so if you’re experiencing that frustrating “ringing of the ear,” it’s time to get a hearing test.
Scheduling a Hearing Test
If you’ve noticed these signs of hearing loss in yourself or a loved one, contact us at Southeast Medical Hearing Centers for a hearing test. A comprehensive hearing test allows us to determine whether a hearing loss is present and give you important information to consider steps for treatment. Treating hearing loss with the use of hearing aids brings significant benefits to your overall health and well-being.
At Southeast Medical Hearing Centers, we work with the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers. Our expert staff will help you find the perfect device that will match your unique hearing needs and give you back the ability to hear in every listening environment.